Just pulled the trigger Shapeoko XXL CNC Router Kit What spindle upgrade to consider?

What @gdon_2003 said.
Installing a spindle on day 1 may be a little too much to take, you will have many other interesting things to think about while assembling the Shapeoko and learning CNC. Keep the spindle upgrade as a later gift to yourself!.
Now the HDZ, in my opinion that was a good call if your budget allowed it, since it does not add complexity in the learning process, and you’ll be ready for that heavy 2.2kw spindle down to road.


Julien your comment is spot on. After I/We wear out a trim router the next upgrade would be the spindle. I have seen a few of your posts, and that 2.2 is really large. What modifications did you need to make to the machine to support it? just looking to the future.


Other than the HDZ to support the weight of a 2.2kW spindle, no other upgrades to the Shapeoko itself are necessary. The spindle will require an external VFD, and the VFD needs to get a PWM signal but that is readily available on Shapeoko controller board. My machine happens to have other mods, but they are unrelated to the spindle (and most of them are overkill)

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Is there a huge difference in the 110 Volt and the 220 Volt 2.2kw spindle? I do not have access to 220 in my current shop, but will be adding it in my new shop. If the performance is minimal, the 110 (water cooled) would be the way I’m leaning. If there is substantial improvement with the 220, I will wait until the new shop is wired. Thoughts?

I looked into the same thing when I was buying a spindle. I decided to go with a 110V service simply because the specs of the 110V kits met or exceeded everything I needed. My advice, start with a list of what you want it to be able to do(HP,Torque,RPM range…) then find a spindle that meets those requirements. Especially true if you have options for what service you can drop to it.

@Grumpy Before a spindle I’d recommend a touch probe, and if you see yourself needing multiple tools on one job then a Bit Setter is also a ‘must’. Just my opinion but the time/headache those two things have saved me, is more than worth the price.

EDIT: And dust collection, I for one am still waiting a sweepy restock…


OK, I jumped off the deep end. Got the G-Penny 2.2 kw water cooled version.
SMH, man I just couldn’t wait. So…now I’m running temp 220 to my old shop. Looks to be the same setup as @Julien except for the ceramic bearings and @Griff. Guess I’ll be pouring over all the forums for the next two weeks checking PID setup and everything else my brain will run with for two weeks.

@Grumpy I’ll let you know what pains I encounter. lol And I agree with @TheSilentEngineer, touch probes and Bitsetter is a must and a game changer.


VFD Parameters (Huanyang model) is the place you need to go… More than enough reading to keep you dangerous! The VFDs are mostly the same, you’ll need to tweak some settings for 220, and spindle specs- which you should be able to get.


@Julien, just curious on your coolant lines. The kit that comes with the G-Penny spindle says 5mm, but the coolant pump that come in the kit says 4 or 6 mm output. What size lines did you end up having to get?!?

I initially used the ones that came with the kit (can’t remember their precise dimension), right now I have replaced them with more flexible silicone ones that are 8mm outer diameter, 6mm inner diameter.

And these had no issues fitting in the spindle connections, or you had to change those fittings out?

They plugged in the spindle connections, no change was required

I double-checked the diameter of the original tubing and I confirm it was 8mm OD / 6 mm ID


Has anyone figured out a way to use a bit setter while also setting RPM with the Shapeoko board? I’m guessing this is possible with software other than CM. recommendations?

Hi @Andy_MM,

Did you maybe mean “BitRunner” not BitSetter ?

If so:
I do use a BitRunner and spindle RPM control simultaneously off the (single) PWM signal. Just wired both in a Y connection, works fine. There is no dependency with the software used, both the BitRunner and the VFD will react based on the PWM signal, which gets generated at the correct frequency based on the RPM value in the G-code (and even Carbide Create generates RPM values in G-code by default, so no change there either). My $30 is set to 24000 (max RPM of my spindle), and with that setting the BitRunner will activate at any RPM value above 9000 RPM or so.

If not:
BitSetter uses the Probe input on the controller (via the splitter board if you have one of those), while setting RPM affects the PWM output signal, so those are two independent things, no reason to not be able to use both simultaneously.

Or maybe I misunderstood your question completely ?


Yeah, its really a software issue I think. I am talking about the bit setter. When running carbide motion, after you start a program (with the bit setter enabled) the first thing that happens is tool touch off. This is an issue when the spindle has already started rotating.

That shouldn’t happen when the spindle is controlled from the PWM signal, because in the G-code that Carbide Create generates, the M3 command that starts the spindle is placed after the M6 command for tool change that (I think) triggers the whole bitSetter probing sequence.
Do you see the spindle starting before that? Don’t you get the spindle start prompt ? what CAM software are you using?


Well you are most likely right. I had quickly tried to set up spindle control when I first set up my spindle and VFD so I probably had messed up some settings. I didn’t have time at that point to figure it out so I went back to manual control. I have been looking around the forums today and thought I would give it another try. The results so far have not been great…

I have set up the VFD the same as you had in your post on this:

Vi to Shapeoko PWM
ACM to Shapeoko GRD
I also moved the Jumper pin from VR to VI
The only settings that are different from yours on the VFD are related to my Spindle being 110v, 1500kw

When I turn the VFD on, the spindle starts immediately, and I have no control with m3 through CM.
I did change $30 to 24000 as well.
I am not seeing 5v between GRD and PWM while my test program runs at the VFD or on The Shapeoko board. So I am guessing that may be my problem?
I have the v2.4e board so the PWM is labeled. Is there another PWM on the board I can try?

other thoughts?

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Hi @Andy_MM,

Thanks for the details. To find out what’s wrong I recommend doing two things, in that order:

  1. disconnect the PWM signal from the VFD, and use a voltmeter to check voltage at the output of the Shapeoko controller:
  • when you turn on the Shapeoko, the voltage should be close to zero volts.
  • double check you have $30=24000 and $31=0
  • Home the machine and then send “M3S12000” (without the quotes) using the MDI tab: you should now read around 2.5V on the PWM output (measure at the leads you just unconnected from the VFD)
    • you can also check that you read close to 5V if you send “M3S24000”
  • If you don’t read 2.5V, then there is something wrong in the wiring of the PWM. There are three places where you can get the PWM signal on a 2.4e controller board (check out this chapter of the ebook), so you may want to try an alternate from what you are currently using. I have been known to mess up solder joints really bad, it can happen.
  1. Once you have verified that the PWM signal is properly generated by the Shapeoko controller, proceed to debug the VFD setup. We had a similar case a few months ago of someone who had the spindle starting upon power-up regardless of the PWM, and it turned out to be something wrong in the VFD parameters (it almost always is…but there are so many of them that it’s not so easy to figure it out). I would recommend to make a note of your current settings (all of them…tedious, I know), and then proceed to do a factory reset (on my Huanyang VFD this is done by setting PD013 to “8”), and then re-apply your changes, this way you’ll be sure what they are at the moment you do the test. If you still have manual control of the RPM from the dial knob on the VFD, then something is not setup correctly to have the VFD use the PWM as the input signal (it usually boils down to setting PD001 and PD002 to 1, but since you followed the Huanyang VFD params thread I created you will already have done that)

I know it’s a bit maddening when you think you have it set exactly like it should be, but if you are anything like me then it could be a misfit parameter that was altered during one of your tests, and not reset to a proper value. That of the VR/VI jumper, but you already checked that so that’s not it.


Awesome! Thank you so much for the help.

So I followed step 1. no output on the PWM. Then I moved to the PWM on the plated hole below and I have signal! Everything was set back up, (still getting spindle turning on when VFD starts at this point) I ran M3S12000… and nothing.

Back through the settings, I made it all the way to PD073 and realized I had that set to 100 which from what I understand should be the minimum frequency for a water cooled spindle, but wasn’t an issue when I was doing manual control. I guess that was a conflicting input with data from CM. Changed it to 0 and Wallah! Spindle Control!

Thank you again so much for the help @Julien

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OK, I finally have my 2.2kw spindle installed. I did try it with 3600 at PD144 and 1 (60hz) at PD176. My displayed RPM was way off from my actual spindle RPM as checked with tachometer. I changed PD144 to 3000 and the readings on the VFD display and the tach match identically. The only minor issue is when I set the spindle speed to 18,000, I’m actually spinning at 18,230. I can live with that.


That’s a no-load speed and the speed will drop linearly with applied torque, this is how the motor regulates the power draw based on load, the more the load slows the spindle the more power it can draw, until it stalls out.

I’m unsurprised that the clock on the HY VFD is slightly off :wink: